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P6 Acupressure Does Not Prevent Emesis During Spinal Anesthesia for Cesarean Delivery

Section Editor(s): Birnbach, David J.Ho, Chiu-Ming MD, PhD*; Tsai, Hsin-Jung MD; Chan, Kwok-Hon MD*; Tsai, Shen-Kou MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000195553.82409.00
Obstetric Anesthesia: Research Report

Nausea and vomiting are major adverse effects during spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery. Stimulation of the P6 (Neiguan) acupoint is a traditional Chinese acupuncture technique used for effective antiemetic purposes. In this study, we evaluated the antiemetic effect of P6 acupressure in parturients during spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery. In a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, 110 parturients scheduled for elective cesarean delivery were enrolled in the study. Thirty minutes before initiation of spinal anesthesia, parturients were randomized to acupressure bands or placebo bands bilaterally on the P6 acupoint and nausea and vomiting were observed over the study period. There were no statistically significant differences in maternal characteristics. Incidence rates for intraoperative nausea were 64% (acupressure group) and 71% (control group) (P = 0.416), with an incidence of intraoperative vomiting of 22% (acupressure group) and 27% (control group) (P = 0.506). The results suggest that prophylactic use of acupressure bands bilaterally on the P6 acupoint failed to prevent nausea and vomiting during spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery.

IMPLICATIONS: Emesis is a major adverse effect during cesarean delivery under spinal anesthesia. We showed that prophylactic use of bilateral acupressure bands on the P6 acupoint was ineffective in preventing nausea and vomiting during elective cesarean delivery under spinal anesthesia.

*Department of Anesthesiology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University; †Department of Anesthesiology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

Support was provided solely by institutional and departmental sources.

Accepted for publication October 5, 2005.

Presented, in part, at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society, Victoria, Canada, June 25, 2002.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Chiu-Ming Ho, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shipai Rd, Taipei 112, Taiwan. Address e-mail to cmho@vghtpe.gov.tw.

© 2006 International Anesthesia Research Society